Terminator: Dark Fate boasts a strong roster of women and a familiar story with a few refreshing elements that leave Phumlani S Langa shocked.
Terminator: Dark Fate
Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Natalia Reyes and Mackenzie Davis
A lot of people weren’t really looking forward to this release. The first three movies were such classics that tampering with that presented a risk. However, Hollywood rolled the dice a few times after the initial trilogy, first bestowed upon us in 1984 by the legend that is James Cameron. The two new age films were convoluted and not necessary.
This time, however, it seems the creators played their cards just right. Cameron returns but not to the directors’ chair. He dons a producer’s cap for this one and you can see his involvement in the end product.
It is surprisingly good, offering a festive blockbuster that plays on the viewers nostalgia.
Electrical spheres appear in two different parts of Mexico City, both housing individuals from the future – a future where machines rule with an iron fist clutching a laser blaster aimed at humanity.
In a last-ditch attempt to put an end to the defiant humans, the machines send one of their best back in time, in the hopes of killing the leader of the movement before she is even aware of her future role.
It is the John Connor story again, but it’s still quite a hardy plot. The terminator sent back is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. An absolutely relentless dude who will stop at nothing to get his hands on Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). Fortunately for Dani, an intelligent young woman doing her best to look out for her brother and father, she has some top-notch assistance from Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) who is John Connor’s mother. A terminator film wouldn’t be complete without an appearance by at least one Connor. John was the leader of the human resistance against Sky Net (the source of the machines in the first three films) which he and his mother eventually managed to overthrow.
The first terminator, the T-800, (Arnold Schwarzenegger) tracks down Sarah and a young John on the beach in the opening scene of the film and kills the young boy despite the trajectory of his future being altered by the Connors. This sends Sarah into a dark depression during which she drowns her sorrows nightly and hunts rogue terminators.
T-800 remains on earth and after finding the Connors, he meets a woman in need of help and he begins to take care of her and her son. Through this, his mechanic mind begins to learn compassion, empathy and a sense of humanity.
Dani is first found by a lieutenant from the resistance in the future called Grace (Mackenzie Davis) who is an augmented human and is well equipped to do battle against a terminator.
The film expands on the idea of the terminator in a sinister way. They were always hard to kill but never have we seen a terminator that can split itself in two. The technological features in the terminator’s body and the skeletal structure separate, allowing the assassin to be in two places at once.
The interaction between Sarah and Carl is priceless, especially as she hates his “wired guts”. She enquires about the woman he has cozied up to and how she could not have noticed that he weighs 400 pounds, which had the cinema erupting in laughter.
The film also says something in the subtext. It isn’t just guns and robots like a Michael Bay Transformers movie. Watch this and you will most likely be led to believe that Dani is the woman who will give birth to the leader of the new rebellion against Legion (the new Skynet).
You are in store for all-out girl power in what is a very watchable action flick. However, it could’ve been better with Cameron behind the lens and the story is not too far removed from the original, but it shocked me